Category Archives: colors

in which my wedding immunizations are not up-to-date

Yesterday we went to the rental place. You know, to pick out tables and chairs and dishware and silverware and blah blah blah flee in terror.

The lady who was helping us, you could tell that she was used to talking to people (brides) who care intensely about The Details. For instance, we got to the matter of the Cake Table, and the beau and I went through the whole well-we-don’t-think-we’re-having-a-cake-we’re-maybe-having-something-like-pies routine, and she looked at us and put her pen down. “You know,” she said, “we had a bride in here who did a wedding last fall, and she did a whole table with an assortment of pies!” She lowered her voice and continued: “And I wouldn’t normally tell you this, but she went out and got her pies from Costco and Marie Callender’s.”*

She went on to tell us that they were just the hugest wedding hit ever, except in retrospect she wouldn’t recommend ever putting out an apple pie, because well, they just don’t hold their shape when cut, and they don’t look very nice on a plate.

Oh honey. You had me at Costco. And then you went and lost me with presentation. It is pie. I don’t care what it looks like. I would scoop that shit up and eat it with my hands, no problem. But then again I am not as classy as some.

So anyway, there we were, feeling smug in our wedding zen. At least I was. The beau was probably daydreaming about, I don’t know, maple-flavored bacon. But then shit got wild, yo. She asked us what our wedding colors were. I looked at the beau. The beau looked at me. “Well,” I said, “we don’t really have wedding colors.” The lady put her pen down again, slowly. “OK then, what’s the color of your bridesmaid dresses?” she inquired. Blank look from me. “Uh, well…” I stammered. “I don’t have a color for, uh, for those dresses yet.”

A look of alarm passed over her face. I could see it in her eyes: These people do not know what they want. This was a problem, you see, for how could we possibly select the colors and themes of the rental items if we did not know the colors and themes of the overall wedding?

She looked us up and down. “Well, I can see you are both wearing green,” she began tentatively. I glanced down, then slid my eyes sideways to check out the boy. We were indeed wearing green. What do you know about that? “Do you like green?” she asked. We nodded dimly. Yes. Yes, we like green. And that was good enough. Now she had an angle. She was in like Flynn.

From there it was all a blur. There were these racks, they had tablecloth fabric samples on them. She was a machine, a machine in motion, pulling samples down and setting a pretend table with different glassware and utensils. She was pairing sage green with rust, with copper, with burnt orange.** She was tossing teal into the mix. She threw together a satin olivino tablecloth with a satin citron napkin. She, good lord, she was putting little clippings of rosemary and lilac in the folds of the napkins!

It this impeccably casual enough? No? Yes? Help? // Source: Jen Tilley via Flickr (
It this impeccably casual enough? No? Yes? Help? // Source: Jen Tilley via Flickr (

And somewhere in the middle of all this I found myself suddenly caring deeply, deeply, about these colors. What if they didn’t go with our venue? What if they didn’t go with each other? What if some of our guests didn’t like the colors? What would the guests think when they approached the tables? What kind of feel would the colors generate? Moreover, did we know that for the centerpieces we could build low, long boxes and grow wheatgrass in them, and then contrast that with citrus tree branches in vases for that extra pop of color?

The beau told me later: “She really lost me when she said we should grow plants in boxes for the wedding.”

We left after two hours, in a daze. I was clutching fabric samples. I am still the same person who said that I would just get the cheapest, most boring tablecloths and call it a day, right? Then how do I explain this sudden bout of hand-wringing over color coordination?

They got to me, you guys. They got me.

For now, the fabric samples have been jammed into a drawer. I need a break. I need some time to sort the B.S. from what’s really important to us.

In the meantime, I’m thinking about making a trip to Costco. I understand they have a decent selection of pies.


* I’m already liking this chick.

** Yes, these sound like they should be all the same color, but mysteriously, they were not.

color reel

You guys probably already know all about this, because you are a smart bunch of imaginary readers. BUT! I shall tell you anyway.

Whenever I’m trying to develop a color palette, I like to start on COLOURlovers. I love that I can search palettes by hexadecimal number (basically, a six-digit color code used on the web and computers), and it will show me all the palettes that include that specific color. But searching by hex number alone doesn’t always guarantee good results, especially if it’s kinda obscure (i.e., if it’s not one of the more “standard” web colors).

Should you encounter hex number FAIL, never fear, for you can simply search by keyword instead (“teal,” “orange,” “retro,” “urban,” “fear,” “apple pie” “autumn,” “marmalade,” and “jazz” were among the ones I tried). You’re able to sort results by a variety of variables, but I usually just leave it set to the default, which is score.

So why am I on about colors today? Like many other things things lately, The Wedding Made Me Do It. Now, I’ve said before that we are not planning on having Colors with a capital C, by which I mean neither the beau nor I are into the super Matchy McMatchpants thing. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a flexible range of colors with which to work. Right?

I always gravitate towards the blues, greens, and yellows, which explains my attraction to these guys:

One Fish Two Fish

I love the vintage feel of the palettes below. Perfect for anyone who tends toward retro (which includes me):

Fan of Wet Things
Vintage Casablanca
Hippie Van

BUT WAIT, there’s moar. The following palettes feel urban to me, and a bit sophisticated, and some are contemporary and some are just a tad classy (which are all the things the beau and I are not, but but I might like them just a smidge anyway, and hell, they’ve gotta be the right look for someone):

Urban Boho
High Society v.2
Curiosity Killed
Conspicuous Creep
Slow Motion

And finally, these struck me as perfect for someone doing autumn or beachy as a wedding theme:

October Sky

All of the above are searchable on the COLOURlovers website by name, by the way.

OH, and last but not least, I also want to give a shoutout to the 3D color wheel at Colorotate. It takes some playing around to get used to, but it’s strangely addicting (it moves! it spins! whoa!).